Callie Giovanna

We Tried Living Like The Ultimate Californian For A Week And Here's What Happened

After the harsh (and bizarre!) winter we experienced on the East Coast, I’m definitely not the only person in New York City who considered a cross-country move. When you think about it, the appeal of the West Coast isn’t simply limited to better weather. With a warmer climate comes more accessibility to outdoorsy, fresh-air activities like hiking, gardening, and biking, all of which make an active lifestyle more attainable. Then, there’s also the more laid back, casual vibe when compared to the never-ending hustle of New York. Plus, a lot of great things come from California, like the best movies and TV — and not to mention, the freshest avocados.

But as an East Coaster, I’m not quite an expert on the subject. That’s why I turned to Bustle’s Senior Associate of Brand Strategy & Planning, Callie Timpanaro. After moving from New Jersey to Los Angeles over a year ago, Callie is enjoying a lot more than her new lightweight wardrobe. While her favorite thing about her new surroundings is the beauty Los Angeles has to offer, she’s also enjoying how the move has pushed her out of her comfort zone, allowing her to learn new things about herself and her city every day.

To help everyone embody her newfound fresh, sun-kissed lifestyle, we partnered with California Avocados to follow Callie around for a week to experience the best of the best coast (yeah, we went there). Here’s how Callie lives the ultimate California lifestyle.

Day One: Hitting Up The Farmers Market

Callie Giovanna

Though some people automatically think of cult-popular burgers when thinking of West Coast eats, the locals know what the real culinary gem is: peak-season California Avocado availability. One of Callie’s favorite things about living in Venice — especially during the summer — is the proximity to a variety of farmers markets where she can find fresh, local fruits and vegetables at a reasonable cost.

“I am a big fan of California Avocados and I need consistency in my life, so I rely on the farmers market for the perfect, ripe California Avocado every time.” Good thing for her, summer is the season for the freshest produce — one of many reasons it's the best time of year!

Day Two: Hosting A Bohemian-Inspired Outdoor Dinner Party

Callie Giovanna

In a state where you can surf, ski, and hike all in the same day, it’s only natural to want to spend more time outdoors — even if it’s simply enjoying an outdoor dinner party. On day two, Callie took advantage of how much easier it is to eat al fresco than it was in New York, where backyards and patios were much harder to come by.

“Dinner parties are the best for catching up with friends during the week, enjoying the weather, and vegging out on good food and drinks,” she says. “Sometimes it's also much more enjoyable to stay local and hang out instead of trek across town to meet for expensive cocktails. It can also be healthier to cook for a group, especially after loading up on fresh produce at the farmers market."

Day Three: Perfecting The Ultimate Morning Routine

Callie Giovanna

Any California transplant who's survived a brutal New York winter will never take sunlight in the early hours for granted. For Callie, the move has definitely motivated her to become more of a morning person, and more active in general.

“I know that I feel better and happier when I work out, so I always try to do something active each day,” she says. “I never know what the day ahead has in store, so I always prefer to start my morning off working out so that I can chill out after the work day ends.”

To lean into her new lifestyle, she started the day with a morning yoga session followed by a fresh smoothie featuring homegrown California Avocados for the healthy fats and great flavor, blended with other natural ingredients like bananas and almond milk. Way better than grabbing a breakfast bar on the way to the subway!

Day Four: Cultivating A Serene Home Garden

Callie Giovanna

Taking advantage of her more "chill" lifestyle, Callie has finally found the time to grow and foster her own plants, demonstrating her gardening routine. "Plants bring a liveliness to a home," she says. The problem was, plants only offer that benefit if they're green and, you know, alive.

“I was always so awful at keeping plants alive in New Jersey — like, they all died,” she admits. “There are so many unique flowers and trees and succulents growing naturally on their own all over the place in Los Angeles, so I knew I would be able to finally be able to keep my own alive. I also spend a lot more time at my house here than I did in New Jersey, so I enjoy having the plants around me to enjoy.” Nothing's better for decorating a home than a living plant!

Day Five: Hiking Topanga Canyon

Callie Giovanna

To live a California lifestyle is to fully embrace the great outdoors. Callie gets her fill of nature by hiking the most scenic routes in SoCal.

“Topanga Canyon is definitely the most beautiful place to hike in L.A.,” Callie says. “There are so many different trails that overlook the ocean and the views are awesome. Runyon Canyon is another favorite. It has a beautiful view of the city, convenient location, and it's a great workout.”

Also try: Griffith Park and Baldwin Hills.

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For Callie, living the ultimate Californian lifestyle means putting her happiness first, and taking advantage of all the amazing experiences, places, food, people, and nature that the state has to offer. In one sentence, she's living her best life.

We're about to pack our bags. Who's in?!

Credits: Photography, Callie Giovanna; Prop Styling, Merisa Libbey; Hair and Makeup, Jayme Kavanaugh; Wardrobe Styling, Leah Adicoff; Art Direction, Mary Blount

This post is sponsored by California Avocados.